New Study on OTs and Professional Learning

As many of you no doubt remember, Dr. Katina Pollock was a presenter at our 2010 Local AGM.  At the time you were all encouraged to participate in her survey studying occasional teachers' access to professional learning, and many of you did.

Dr. Pollock's final report has now been released, and can be found here (PDF).

The report examines access to professional learning, motivations for professional learning, challenges to access, and so forth.  Respondents are taken as a whole (general population of OTs) as well as split into categories: Retirees, New Entrants, Career OTs, Internationally Educated Teachers (Western and non-Western education), and teachers of the North.

Many of the report's findings may seem obvious to us as occasional teachers (after all, it's our experiences the report draws on), but the facts are that most people in education, whose experiences have been entirely based on full-time contract employment (or very short stints as OTs prior to getting a contract), have a very poor understanding of occasional teaching.  My personal hope is that this report will add to a growing body of work showing that occasional teachers have unique and different needs from their full-time counterparts, as well as a different set of skills and knowledge which define occasional teaching as a specialized niche within the teaching profession.